Joe Effion, Uyo
The chairperson of Ibom deep seaport, Mrs Mfon Usoro has disclosed that when operational, the port will provide more than 300,000 direct and indirect jobs to Nigerian youths.
Usoro who spoke at the palace of the paramount ruler of Ibeno, Effiong Achanga, when government delegation led by the state Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom deep seaport, Mr Akan Okon, paid a courtesy call on the monarch, explained that the project was entirely a Nigerian multi-billion dollar business which requires the host communities’ full knowledge of its technical structure.
“We are letting you know what is going on because you are partners. Ibeno happens to be the best position in Nigeria for the location of deep seaport. It is a federal government project and the Nigerian Port Authority is the landlord.
“Ibom Industrial city is the second project and we are developing the project side by side. The industrial city is owned by the state government so if you cannot get something from the port, you can get from the city,” the former NIMASA boss said.
While welcoming his guest, Achanga emphasised the change of name of Ibom deep seaport to Ibeno deep seaport to reflect its location as obtained in other projects located in other communities.
The monarch stressed that things should be done properly in the areas of Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A), main operational MOU, resettlement plan, adequate/meaningful compensation(s), good community relationship, implementation of local content laws and other related laws in maritime issues.
“With all modesty, do all you can to change the name to Ibeno deep seaport, Akwa Ibom State.”
The recent trend in generalisation of certain project’s location for Ibom in certain parts of the state is being unfair. My honourable commissioner, the truth is always bitter.
“I am not comfortable with the name Ibom deep seaport. The most appropriate, correct and proper name should be Ibeno deep seaport to reflect its actual location and in honour of Ibeno people and community whose coastal land and marine resources have contributed greatly towards the revenue of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria for many years now.
“Presently, we have names like “Kings’ Flour Mill Ltd. Okat, in Onna, and St. Gabriel Coconut Refinery in Mkpat Enin, Electric Metering Factory in Onna, Syringe Manufacturing Company in Onna etc,” he said
The Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Port, Mr Akan Okon said that the project is a significant one that would ensure employment opportunities.
Okon gave the assurance that the host community will be fully engaged in the seaport project as all the issues raised will be addressed.
“The government will like to take into consideration the feelings of his people and all the issues will be taken care of. This project will ensure that there are employment opportunities,” he said.